Driving along the Amalfi Coast with Freddy and our friends was an incredible experience. It’s just so surreal that something as beautiful as this could exist in the world. Best part is that the beauty in these towns is the actual natural landscape. It’s like God literally laid out the framework, and the Italians sprinkled their life in between.
And baby...they be sprinklin it with that special grape juice.
The squad and I decided to hit up Gambino Wines. The winery is located atop Mount Etna which is an active volcano! This makes their wine special because the high altitudes and volcanic soil influence the taste of the grapes. And all of their grapes are picked by women. That's cuz we know what we're doing. Right, ladies? Now, I'm from the Bay Area and live in LA, so wineries are a dime a dozen in a great way. But I'll tell you this, I haven't been to one as cool and personable as Gambino Wines.
They start you off with a wonderful, simple glass of white and tell you the history behind the winery. Did you know that archeologists believe grapes have been growing here as long ago as ancient times? We're talking 4 or 5 millennia ago. And we can thank the Greeks for a new cultivation system for mass growing and wine production. "Opa!" We enjoyed the view while soaking in the details. Around us were couples, families, and kids getting in their R & R sprawled across the lawn. Two girls were braiding one another's hair, an old grampa was completely zzzz'd out, and these super cute kids were playing tag. (Do they have "tag" in Italy? I don't know. Kids running look like tag to me.)
Next they sat us down and began the tasting. Out comes these amazing cheeses that complement all the whites and rose. The refreshing citrus essence was a perfect balance to the heavier flavored cheese.
Now, I'm no wine sommelier, BUT I do believe in these basic wine tasting tips that will help you truly get the most of your tasting.
1. Sight - Check for uniformity in color. Also, the richer the color, the more intense flavor you can expect.
2. Smell - Take a good sniff. This will prepare your taste buds for what they are about to experience.
3. Taste - Now sip. Ideally you want to swish the wine around so it touches all of your taste centers.
Remember it's all about the senses. So take your time.
Next, Gambino brings out the beef. Thin, savory, spectular meats as a gorgeous charcuterie spread. Be warned that this could lead to a discussion about the pronunciation of capicola, a.k.a. "gabagool" to all those Italian-Americans out there. What are we on "The Sopranos" or something?
Crazy fact. Gambino wines, unlike most wineries, give you practically full pours for your tasting. So you are almost having....8 glasses of full-ish pours. And ...they leave the bottles there at the table for you to continue tasting yourself. So be careful because you may find that you don't recall how you got grass stains on your outfit. (Hint: It may or may not be because you and your husband decided to roll down a hill like a couple of seven year olds.)